MB ChB Birm 1952, PhD1955; DPH Lond 1956; FRCP Glas 1971; FRCP Lond 1983; FRCP Edin 1981; FRCGP 1973; FFCM 1972; MSc Manch 1971.
After gaining his medical degree from Birmingham University and his diploma in public health, Smith was WHO visiting lecturer in epidemiology in Singapore. He spent two years as lecturer in public health at the University of St Andrews and was then appointed medical statistician to the Registrar General of Scotland and part-time lecturer in the University of Medicine. In 1966, Smith was appointed senior lecturer in child health at the University of Glasgow. The following year he took up the chair of social and preventive medicine at the University of Manchester. In 1978, Smith was appointed to a newly established chair of epidemiology and social oncology at the University. On his retirement he was made emeritus professor. Smith was a member of the Society for Social Medicine, and was president of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine.